The Mark of the Vampire Queen (Vampire Queen Series #2)

The Mark of the Vampire Queen - Joey W. Hill The second half of Vampire Queen Lady Lyssa and her human servant Jacob's story, started in The Vampire Queen's Servant, this book was an entirely underwhelming experience. Despite a full plate of conflict - Lyssa's fatal disease, volatile vampire politics, the nature of the romantic relationship itself - I failed to connect with it emotionally and ended up skimming through sex scene and exposition alike.To begin with, it's plagued with telling in the character-focused first half. Too often the character would go and do something - like have a m/f/m threesome with Jacob, Lyssa and Jacob's brother Gideon - and then the author would go and expressly say why they did it in the POV prose - to relieve Gideon of his pressing loneliness and resentment, in the example I give. Not only is that my job as a reader to draw those conclusions on my own, I kept reading the explanations and disagreeing. Being managed by the author just kept me from connecting with the characters, and as there's little plot or action going on at this point, I was bored stiff.The plot does pick up about halfway through when the Vampire Scout Jamboree...uh, Council Meetings convene in South America. There's all manner of intrigue, politics and entertainment as hundreds of vampires and their servants convene for a vamp G7 summit. Unfortunately, between the charged bits of intrigue, there's a lot of gratuitous kinky sexual nonsense that left me cold. It felt like filler to me, but if you like unemotional group sex with penetrative statues or choreographed group anal sex that sounded like a cross between Broadway and a porno-style gangbang, then holy hell, is this the book for you. As a bonus offer if you order now, you also get penetrative sex with a winged gargoyle-like creature. Hurry, sale ends soon. The solution to Lyssa's disease opens up a whole host of other issues and spends no time at all dealing with them. The book ends as a steaming pile of deus ex machina lacking any emotional punch at all.To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I loved the emotion in the EC published book of hers that I read, so I'm really surprised to have found these books to be emotional flatliners. I've heard great things about book four in this series, Beloved Vampire, so I may still read that. Maybe these two were a fluke. I don't know.